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Top Ten Myths About Scholarships Mark Kantrowitz Publisher of Fastweb and FinAid September 23, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Top Ten Myths About Scholarships Mark Kantrowitz Publisher of Fastweb and FinAid September 23, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Top Ten Myths About Scholarships Mark Kantrowitz Publisher of Fastweb and FinAid September 23, 2011

2 About the Author and this Talk Mark Kantrowitz is Publisher of and, the two leading free web sites about planning and paying for college Mark is a nationally recognized expert on student financial aid and a member of the board of directors of the National Scholarship Providers Association Mark is the author of the bestselling book Secrets to Winning a Scholarship, which is available through in both paperback and Kindle formats

3 Overview 1.Only Straight-A Students Win Scholarships 2.Most Scholarships are Just for Minority Students 3.My Child Will Win a Free Ride with Scholarships 4.I'm Not an Athlete, So I Won't Win Any Money 5.Only the Poor Win Scholarships 6.Only High School Seniors Can Apply for Scholarships 7.Private High School Students Win More Scholarships 8.$6.6 Billion in Scholarships Went Unclaimed Last Year 9.Colleges Reduce Need-Based Aid When You Win Scholarships, So Why Bother? 10.Searching/Applying for Scholarships is Too Much Work

4 Myth: Only A Students Win Scholarships Reality: Students with better grades are more likely to win scholarships, but B and C students do win some Cumulative GPA on a 4.0 Scale High School GPA College GPA % Winning Scholarships % of Scholarship Winners % Winning Scholarships 0.0-1.9 (D- to C)5.7% 1.3% 7.0% 2.0-2.4 (C to B-)7.1% 6.2% 9.1% 2.5-2.9 (B- to B)9.5% 8.1% 10.7% 3.0-3.4 (B to A-)10.7% 30.0% 13.1% 3.5-4.0 (A- to A)18.7% 54.4% 18.8%

5 The Race Myth: Only Minorities Win Reality: White students win more than their fair share of scholarships, not minority students Race Percent of Recipients Percent Winning Average Award White71.5%14.4%$2,645 Black or African American10.5%11.4%$2,962 Hispanic or Latino8.1%9.1%$2,353 Asian4.4%10.5%$3,170 American Indian or Alaska Native 1.4%32.7%$3,967 More than One Race3.4%16.0%$4,891 All Minority Students28.5%11.2%$3,167

6 Myth: My Child Will Win a Free Ride Very few students win a completely free ride Of students enrolled full-time at a 4-year college –0.3% get enough grants to cover the full COA –1.0% get enough grants to cover 90% or more of the COA –3.4% get enough grants to cover 75% or more of the COA –14.3% get enough grants to cover 50% or more of the COA Of students winning scholarships, more than two-thirds (69.1%) received less than $2,500 Scholarships are part of the plan for paying for college, but not the entire plan

7 Myth: Only Athletes Win Scholarships 1.4% of students in Bachelors degree programs received athletic scholarships in 2007-08 The average athletic scholarship was $7,855, a third of the total cost of attendance Athletic scholarships represent only 5.4% of institutional grants and 2.1% of all college grants Athletic scholarships enable students to attend more expensive colleges, but do not yield a significant financial advantage. Total institutional grants are $3,979 higher than for non-recipients, but the cost is $4,560 higher

8 Myth: Only the Poor Win Scholarships Reality: Middle-income students are more likely to win private scholarships than lower-income or upper-income students Most private scholarships are not based on financial need Full-time Students at 4-Year Colleges % of Students Winning Scholarships % of Aid Applicants Winning Scholarships AGI less than $50,00010.6%11.3% AGI $50,000 to $100,00013.8%15.6% AGI $100,000 or more10.8%14.3%

9 Myth: Just for High School Seniors There are scholarships with deadlines in every month of the year Deadlines peak in the fall and spring Summer is the low point Many families wait until spring of the senior year in high school to figure out how to pay for college, missing half the deadlines for seniors There are many scholarships for students in lower grades, even elementary school Continue searching for scholarships after you have enrolled in college

10 Myth: Private K-12 Students Win More Reality: Students who graduate from private high schools win more private scholarships, but not enough to compensate for the higher cost of private school tuition Only about $1,000 more in private scholarships 48.5% of private-school students enroll at private non- profit colleges vs. 26.7% of public-school students Type of High School % Winning Scholarships Average Scholarship % Receiving Any Merit Aid Average Total Merit Aid Public12.3%$2,63127.0%$5,700 Private10.0%$3,46330.9%$6,705

11 Myth: $6.6 Billion Went Unclaimed Last Year The unclaimed aid myth is based on a 1976-77 academic year study by the National Institute of Work and Learning (NIWL) NIWL estimated that $7 billion was available from employers in employer tuition assistance, but only $300 to $400 million was being used The myth is more than 30 years old, is based on an unsubstantiated estimate and has nothing to do with scholarships The only scholarships that go unclaimed cant be claimed due to restrictive eligibility criteria

12 Myth: Colleges Will Cut Aid, So Why Bother? Colleges do displace private scholarships, but most colleges will try to ensure that the student gets some financial benefit Private scholarships first fill the gap (unmet need) Then some of the private scholarship money will be used to reduce the students loan and work burden Every college has an outside scholarship policy which dictates how the college reduces need- based aid when a student wins a scholarship Check the colleges policy to see how your scholarship and bottom-line cost will be affected

13 Myth: Searching and Applying for Scholarships is Too Much Work Searching for scholarships is the easy part Fastweb matches your background with scholarships It takes about half an hour to search the database Applying for scholarships is hard, but then so is applying for college admission It gets much easier after your first half-dozen applications, since you can reuse and adapt your previous application essays Some students dont like essay contests and small scholarships, making them easier to win

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